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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 12
2011
GB at DET (thu) * BUF at NYJ DEN at SD PIT at KC
MIA at DAL (thu) * CAR at IND HOU at JAC * TB at TEN
SF at BAL (thu) * CHI at OAK * MIN at ATL * WAS at SEA
* UPDATED ARI at STL * CLE at CIN * NE at PHI * NYG at NO (mon)

Prediction: HOU 20, JAC 13

The 7-3 Texans had to Jacksonville for their rematch of the 24-14 win in Houston in week eight. Houston is only 3-2 in road games while the 3-7 Jaguars are 2-2 at home. Matt Leinart is the starter this week for a new feature but still not enough to change the direction of this game.

Houston Texans
Homefield: Reliant Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 IND 34-7 10 @TB 37-9
2 @MIA 23-13 11 Bye -
3 @NO 33-40 12 @JAC -
4 PIT 17-10 13 ATL -
5 OAK 20-25 14 @CIN -
6 @BAL 14-29 15 CAR -
7 @TEN 41-7 16 @IND -
8 JAC 24-14 17 TEN -
9 CLE 30-12      
Texans Report | Statistics | Roster
HOUSTON at JAC Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Leinart - - 180,1
RB Arian Foster 90,1 30 -
RB Ben Tate 40 - -
TE Owen Daniels - 30,1 -
WR Andre' Johnson - 50 -
WR Kevin Walter - 40 -
WR Jacoby Jones - 20 -
PK Neil Rackers 2 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Texans come off their bye tied for the #1 seed in the AFC and they've done it almost entirely without Andre Johnson. Now it may be Matt Schaub depending on who you ask. But the defense has been the silent savior this season and a dominating rushing game led by a great offensive line means a quarterback is less important anyway. The remaining schedule has to get past the visiting Falcons and a trip to Cincy, but this team could end up running the table.

QUARTERBACK: Matt Schaub has a severe foot injury that is speculated to need Lisfranc surgery but that won't be determined until his foot swelling subsides and a second opinion is made. Bottom line here - Schaub is out this week and if not the entire season it will be many weeks. That leaves Matt Leinart now with the chance to lead a 7-3 team towards the playoffs if not a #1 seed. The good news here as opposed to Arizona where he started - he is only expected to not screw up games instead of win them.

The Texans get back Andre Johnson which helps a lot but creating expectations is purely speculative since he has not played any meaningful games since 2009. The Jags have allowed every opponent to score at least once via the pass other than the Colts. Schaub only passed for 225 yards and one score in their previous meeting so anything beyond marginal yardage and one score is very optimistic.

RUNNING BACKS: This remains one of the premiere backfields in the NFL with Arian Foster on a four game steak of monster games. He has scored seven times in the last four games played and topped 120 total yards in each with two efforts exceeding 180 total yards. Foster already rushed for 112 yards and one score with 12 receiving yards when the Jags came to Houston in week eight.

Ben Tate has been a worthwhile fantasy start in most of the recent games because taking the leftovers from Foster is still pretty profitable. Tate has two 100 rushing yard games just as a relief player in recent weeks. But he only gained 42 yards on a low five carries in the previous matchup with the Jaguars.

The Jaguars are much tougher against the run at home where only two runners have scored and none had gained more than 75 yards as a runner. But this is the best running game in the league with a new quarterback to protect. No reason to bench Foster in any week much less this one.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Andre' Johnson returns this week - at least so he says - and yet he comes back to Matt Leinart as quarterback and a team that has shifted away from the pass heavy scheme of the past. Johnson has been out since week four because of his hamstring and since he left the wideouts have never really compensated for him. Running backs and tight ends have had a few big games but there was no one stepping up to replace Johnson. Jacoby Jones yet again got his shot and ended with two touchdowns in the last six weeks and topped 70 yards in those matchups but never did anything in the other games to warrant a fantasy start. Derrick Mason has been added to the mix and yet only accounts for about one catch per week.

Kevin Walter turned in 70 yards on five catches in the previous matchup with the Jags while Jones only gained 59 yards on three receptions.

Johnson owners will trot him out this week if only because they finally can. But what to expect with Leinart throws all new risk on it in his first game back. Safest bet is to assume moderate yardage.

TIGHT ENDS: Owen Daniels had been the busiest tight end and yet has not scored since week four and has only produced about 60 yards or so in games when the Texans needed to throw and 30 yards when they did not. Joel Dreesen has scored three times since week five but never has more than two catches for minimal yardage. Dreesen scored once on the Jags but only gained 19 yards on two catches. Daniels gained 60 yards on four catches in that game.

I give Owens the passing score but it is mostly a place holder and may not even happen.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 15 1 30 6 8 6
Preventing Fantasy Points JAC 7 11 4 27 2 13


Jacksonville Jaguars
Homefield: J'ville Municipal Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 TEN 16-14 10 @IND 17-3
2 @NYJ 3-32 11 @CLE 10-14
3 @CAR 10-16 12 HOU -
4 NO 10-23 13 SD -
5 CIN 20-30 14 TB -
6 @PIT 13-17 15 @ATL -
7 BAL 9-7 16 @TEN -
8 @HOU 14-24 17 IND -
9 Bye -      
Jaguars Report | Statistics | Roster
JACKSONVILLE vs HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB Blaine Gabbert - - 140
RB Maurice Jones-Drew 70,1 20 -
TE Marcedes Lewis - 40 -
WR Cecil Shorts - 20 -
WR Jason Hill - 30 -
WR Mike Thomas - 20 -
PK Josh Scobee 2 FG 1 XP -

Pregame Notes: The enigmatic Jaguars beat the Ravens recently but just lost to the Browns. The reality here is that the offense has nearly no punch at all other than Maurice Jones-Drew and has scored over 17 points just once all year. The defense is good and that helps keep game scores closer but the offense has the absolute worst stats for passers and wideouts and the Jaguars bring in a top five defense against running backs.

QUARTERBACK: This is statistically the worst passing offense and Blaine Gabbert has thrown six touchdowns but only five interceptions because he rarely has more than 30 passes in a game. He also has topped 200 pass yards only twice all year and passed for just 97 yards and one score in Houston four weeks ago.

The Texans bring in the #5 defense against quarterbacks so expect another sub-standard game from Gabbert.

RUNNING BACKS: The only positive in this offense is Maurice Jones-Drew who has somehow scored five times this season including each of the last three games. He ran 18 times for 63 yards and one touchdown in Houston and is at home this week but the Texans are coming off a bye and need a divisional win. Jones-Drew is a must start anyway and should score once but his yardage is likely lower again this week.

WIDE RECEIVERS: All you need to know is that in the previous meeting, the four wide receivers combined for five catches for 41 yards and Jason Hill somehow scored on his only catch in the game. This unit is ranked #32 for a reason - they'd be bad with a good quarterback and Gabbert is hardly good yet.

TIGHT ENDS: Marcedes Lewis posted his second best game of the year when he last faced the Texans but that was only four catches for 45 yards. No fantasy value.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 32 18 32 30 25 28
Preventing Fantasy Points HOU 5 4 10 3 7 1

WEEK 12
2011
GB at DET (thu) BUF at NYJ DEN at SD PIT at KC
MIA at DAL (thu) CAR at IND HOU at JAC TB at TEN
SF at BAL (thu) CHI at OAK MIN at ATL WAS at SEA
  ARI at STL CLE at CIN NE at PHI NYG at NO (mon)

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